Welfare bank spying powers a sledgehammer to crack a nut say campaigners

Big Brother Watch Team / May 13, 2024

Commenting on updated Government proposals to tackle fraud and error in the welfare system, including through new financial surveillance powers, Mark Johnson, Advocacy Manager at Big Brother Watch said:

“The Department for Work and Pensions proposed new bank spying powers are a sledgehammer to crack a nut. These Orwellian plans will compel banks to monitor all of our bank accounts and will subject millions of innocent Brits to suspicionless surveillance, treating them like criminals in the process.

“Everyone wants to see fraud tackled in the welfare system and throughout society more broadly but as the Government has shown, there are existing powers which can be used to do this based on reasonable suspicion. The proposed new financial surveillance powers are an affront to privacy in the UK. The Government should listen to the calls of rights groups, legal experts and Parliamentarians and junk these plans.”




Spokespeople are available for interviews. Contact Big Brother Watch’s 24h media line on 07730439257 or email info@bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

You can find a copy of the Government’s press release here.

You can find more information about Big Brother Watch’s Stop Bank Spying campaign here.

Big Brother Watch, 38 Degrees and Organise will be handing in petitions, calling on the Government to scrap the new bank spying plans, to Number 10 Downing Street at 13:30 tomorrow. You can find a link to

Big Brother Watch’s petition herand Organise’s petition here. For more information please email info@bigbrotherwatch.org.uk